Anorak | ArcelorMittal: Another majestic French misunderstanding of economics

ArcelorMittal: Another majestic French misunderstanding of economics

by | 7th, December 2012

SO. The French are threatening to nationalise a steel plant to stop the eeeevil capitalist bastards closing it down. And even I would agree that there are times that governments should prevent capitalists from doing certain things. But it would help if the government understood even the first thing about what it is doing: something which isn’t true for the French government in this case :

Francois Hollande has threatened to nationalise a plant owned by steelmaker ArcelorMittal in an increasingly heated dispute in which a minister has said the multinational is no longer welcome in the country.

Here’s the fiddly little technical bit.

That steel plant has two parts to it. One is a couple of blast furnaces. These are what we use to turn iron ore (and coke and limestone) into iron and steel. The other is a rolling mill, which is what turns great big blocks of steel into the sheet that we actually use (to build cars in this case).

Arcelor Mittal wants to keep the rolling mills open and close the blast furnaces. The other various people who would like to buy the site (off the government, if it does nationalise it) want to do the same.

So, err, WTF eh? Why

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Posted: 7th, December 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink